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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
7/2/07 6:01 P

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As that study was showing in my first post, though, it appears sunshine is not a reliable source to get your Vitamin D.

I got my blood test results back, though, and it appears everything's running normal for me, so no worries there. (As I said, though, I do eat the occasional eggs and dairy, so it's not too huge an ordeal for me.)

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SUNIL410's Photo SUNIL410 SparkPoints: (81,157)
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7/2/07 10:21 A

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Thanks coach Nicole for very information.

Sunil

"No, no, you''re not thinking; you''re just being logical." - Neils Bohr


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UTAHRULZ's Photo UTAHRULZ Posts: 123
6/30/07 9:32 P

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Sunlight emoticon

It's a good way to get that summer tan.

 
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ACMEGS Posts: 183
6/30/07 8:56 P

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I drink enriched soymilk, so most of my vitamin D comes from that. Or from the sun. I don't lie out, but I walk around outside.

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TEJOLOTE's Photo TEJOLOTE Posts: 76
6/30/07 1:07 P

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Unfortunately there are no real symptoms until you start getting osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis, by which time you've been deficient for a long time--bone pain is a sign of osteomalacia.

The recommended amount for an adult (up to age 50) is 200 IU a day.

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CATGRRLJULIE's Photo CATGRRLJULIE Posts: 262
6/30/07 7:44 A

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I'm curious, but what would be the symptoms of not having enough Vitamin D? As someone who is about to become one of the 40-odd million Americans without healthcare, I doubt that I'll be running to my doctor for a bloodtest anytime soon, so I'm curious.

I've been a vegan a long time (7 years? longer? I've lost track) and my understanding has been that for everyone, vegan or not, the best source of D is the sun. However, prolonged exposure is not needed (and, obviously, risking skin cancer is not a good way of getting vitamin D!) but you only need a few minutes exposure (as it was explained to me by one doctor, years ago, roll up your sleeves as you walk to class/work and you should be good) I just thought I'd point this out because people mentioned the increased risk of skin cancer, and really, you shouldn't be at any higher risk from having spf-free arms exposed for 10 minutes or so.


"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men."
~Alice Walker~


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TEJOLOTE's Photo TEJOLOTE Posts: 76
6/30/07 4:57 A

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I'm not vegan, but I don't like milk and very, very rarely eat eggs. Today I just got some lab results back in the mail from my last visit to the doc, and my vitamin D levels are way, way too low. The doc wants me to start a prescription vitamin D (ergocalciferol) AND simultaneously take 1000 IU of over-the-counter vitamin D supplement. Whee!

I live in Seattle, and contrary to popular belief there's a ton of sun here in the summer, but I haven't been out and about much--my psoriatic arthritis has been kicking my bum so I've spent way too much time crashed out in bed.

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TEJOLOTE's Photo TEJOLOTE Posts: 76
6/30/07 4:57 A

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I'm not vegan, but I don't like milk and very, very rarely eat eggs. Today I just got some lab results back in the mail from my last visit to the doc, and my vitamin D levels are way, way too low. The doc wants me to start a prescription vitamin D (ergocalciferol) AND simultaneously take 1000 IU of over-the-counter vitamin D supplement. Whee!

I live in Seattle, and contrary to popular belief there's a ton of sun here in the summer, but I haven't been out and about much--my psoriatic arthritis has been kicking my bum so I've spent way too much time crashed out in bed.

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TEJOLOTE's Photo TEJOLOTE Posts: 76
6/30/07 4:57 A

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I'm not vegan, but I don't like milk and very, very rarely eat eggs. Today I just got some lab results back in the mail from my last visit to the doc, and my vitamin D levels are way, way too low. The doc wants me to start a prescription vitamin D (ergocalciferol) AND simultaneously take 1000 IU of over-the-counter vitamin D supplement. Whee!

I live in Seattle, and contrary to popular belief there's a ton of sun here in the summer, but I haven't been out and about much--my psoriatic arthritis has been kicking my bum so I've spent way too much time crashed out in bed.

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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
6/29/07 4:57 P

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I'm definitely going to be ineterested in what my blood test results are going to be. I went in last week and told my doc I wanted them to check my levels of D, B-12, calcium and iron because I've been a vegetarian since the beginning of the year.

I've been trying to back off on dairy for a while now. Some weeks I have hardly any, and others I have more. And where eggs are concerned, I don't have those too often, either. I do drink soy milk, but as you said, it's probably fortified with a pretty wimpy sub-standard version of vitamin D.

Interesting thing is I live in Hawaii, where the study was done, but I'm a fair-skinned person with a history of awful sunburns in the past... so I tend to avoid prolonged sun exposure whenenver possible as it is. I've been "burned", quite literally, too many times in the past to feel comfortable sitting out in the sun soaking up the rays too often. (Yes, I'm one of the locals who looks like a tourist, LOL).

So, crossing my fingers and hoping my levels are going to look good.. but if not, I'll certainly be asking him what I should do. (He holds a very positive opinion on the veg'n lifestyle, so I'm sure he'll be helpful, too, instead of giving me a lecture on needing to eat meat.)

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KAGEKI's Photo KAGEKI Posts: 80
6/29/07 4:12 P

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For vegans it's tricky indeed. For vegetarians it's easier, at least, according to the Dutch center for nutrition: apparently eggs and milk products are also sources of vitamine d.

For the pesco-vegetarians among us: fish is a great source.

COACH_NICOLE's Photo COACH_NICOLE SparkPoints: (71,928)
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6/29/07 3:40 P

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Hey Kelly-

Vitamin D is actually a major source of interest and research for me--but that's a whole other story! It's my opinion that humans are meant to get vitamin D from the sun as a source, as all other dietary sources are not very good. The only way to get it from the sun is from a few minutes of daily exposure (without wearing spf), and that poses risks in itself, for people who are concerned about sun exposure/cancer. However, the amount of unprotected skin exposure needed to make adequate D is very small- maybe 5-10 minutes of exposed hair/arms/legs a few times a week. However, in certain areas and in certain seasons, the angle of the sun's rays make vitamin D production impossible, which is why food sources become important.

Other than the sun, there are pretty much no good sources of D for vegans. Supplements can come in two forms: D2 and D3. D2 is usually veg-friendly, but it is also poorly absorbed and utilized by the body. Most foods that are fortified with vitamin D (including milk, soymilk, etc.) use this cheap, poor form.

D3 comes from animal sources--usually fish or fish oil, but it can also come from animal hides (they make D just like we do, so it's somehow taken from their skins or skin oils).

I am not a vegan, and vitamin D is a pressing issue for me because, based on my research my own personal theory, is that vitamin D (not calcium) is the key to bone health and is very important to health. In fact, the very low levels of vitamin D recommendations may be changed soon (currenly near 400 IU daily, but experts are saying this number should be in the thousands).

I spent a great deal of time researching for a vegetarian vitamin D3 supplement and found one sourced from sheep wool instead of fish or animal skins. This is the only non-death-of-an-animal source of D3 that I have ever found and I had to special order it b/c most stores don't carry it. When doing your own research, definitely contact companies to ask about the sources of vitamins such as D, because sources are not usually listed on labels.

Hope that helps! It's definitely interesting stuff.

Nicole



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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
6/29/07 3:15 P

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I was reading this study with interest today:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/vitamin_d_dc;
_ylt=AkqtkmWd8bYc.2ZY38xfz9oDW7oF


Since I know you can only get vitamin D through sun exposure or animal sources, how do you, as a vegan, make sure you're getting enough vitamin D? Is there a synthesized supplement out there that I'm not aware of?

From the article above, it sounds like spending time out in the sun doesn't necessarily guarantee you'll meet your needed levels of vitamin D. (And, of course, there's serious skin damage to consider if you're trying to get your V-D from the sun, too).

(This is just one of those pressing questions I have while I loosely contemplate becoming vegan myself someday in the future).

Thanks!

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